The Instigator
brett.winstead
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
MaxSophistry
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

One cannot be a real libertarian and a Democrat

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
brett.winstead
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 881 times Debate No: 40323
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)

 

brett.winstead

Pro

What is a libertarian? It is someone who believes in the absolute minimum amount of government interference so that it does not infringe on freedom. My personal belief is that most of the entire laws of this land can be summed up in one sentence: Do whatever you want to do provided that it does not infringe on the life, liberty, property or pursuit of happiness of someone else. It is that simple.

I am looking to debate with someone who calls himself or herself a libertarian who still calls himself a Democrat. I don't mean someone who votes Democrat because that may be because you are simply voting for the lesser of two evils and you don't like your choices. I am referring to someone who buys into Democrat ideology. You believe that government should provide "programs" to "help" people. You believe corporations are money hungry, soul-less entities who should be regulated to the teeth. You believe in a minimum wage and you love the Occupy Wall Street movement. You frown on businesses that make big profits but want your paycheck from that business. You think that the rich do not pay enough taxes and that they should be raised. You believe in "free" government-run healthcare. You know what I mean. You vote for candidates that promise more and more and maybe you even believe that the government actually has a revenue problem more than a spending problem.

If you buy into all or most of the previous paragraph and yet think of yourself as a libertarian who believes in minimal government, debate me. You can start the debate with how you justify your conflicting belief system.
MaxSophistry

Con

Alright! First debate on the site! So excited.

Okay, before I begin: I am not from US, so I cannot actually be a Democrat per se. But I am a avid follower of US politics, and for the sake of this debate, I will argue that it is possible to left of centre on the political spectrum and call oneself a "Libertarian."

*******

My esteemed opponent has challenged me to explain my "conflicting belief system." I explain it thusly: It is not conflicting.

Or at least not any more so than his own.

Libertarianism, like all ideologies, exists on a spectrum not an iron-clad orthodoxy where all tenants of the school of thought must be accepted in order to qualify as being an adherent. For example: not every democrat (small D) needs to accept that judges should be elected, not every capitalist must think public education is bad (Adam Smith said quite the opposite), not every Christian must live by all the rules in Leviticus, not every monarchist must believe that the king or queen should be a supreme sovereign with unchecked power.

In the same way, one can be a Libertarian without adhering to the version of it laid out by Ayn Rand and the rest of her disciples. I believe this is self-evident, because if it were not so, it would be impossible for a Libertarian to be a republican!

Republicans for all their talk of smaller government have just as many anti-libertarian ideas as Democrats, albeit in different policy areas. Republicans insist on perpetuating the drug war which denies adults the liberty to use psychoactive substances, they actively promote the restriction of women's liberty to end an unwanted pregnancy, many often support surveillance programs like those revealed in the Snowden leaks, they support the curtailing of the rights of people on trial and even outright denial them to others. Republics venerate the military which is not only the biggest government program but the means that any state suppresses the liberties of its citizens or those of other countries.

Yet despite all this, most Libertarians closely associate themselves with the Republican party. Why is that? It is because they are willing to either overlook or accept these contradictions as either acceptable or right and necessary exemptions to the libertarian orthodoxy.

Similarly, I believe that Democrats' transgressions against liberty as either acceptable enough to be looked past or the necessary compromises necessary for creating a healthy and stable society while not violating what I see are the central principles of Libertarianism: that people should be allowed to live, speak, love and do what they want without government interference as long as they don't cause direct harm to another person.

In general Democrats are very supportive of social libertarian principles and not as much so of economic libertarianism, while vise-versa is true of republicans.

I do not relish the idea of living in the supposed golden age of economic libertarianism which was the late 19th century and early 20th. Private enterprise may have had almost perfect liberty but it also created toxic fogs in London that literally killed people. So just as I imagine my opponent will argue that creating a military is one of the legitimate jobs of the state, I argue that the regulation of large-scale private enterprise is just as vital a function of a government.

So in summary: I put forward to the voters that being a Democrat is not more conflicting for a Libertarian than being a Republican as being either requires compromises of the ideology's orthodoxy. But making those compromises does not disqualify one from being a libertarian.
Debate Round No. 1
brett.winstead

Pro

Thanks for accepting the debate.

In the same way, one can be a Libertarian without adhering to the version of it laid out by Ayn Rand

Well, sure, I agree with that. I was not saying that libertarians should all be uniform in belief on everything but that libertarianism is FAR from liberalism and we all know that liberals almost always call themselves Democrats and vote that way.

Republicans for all their talk of smaller government have just as many anti-libertarian ideas as Democrats,

True, but I never said anything about Republicans in the first round. I am not saying nor would I ever say the Republicans are libertarians or anything close. Republicans hate freedom almost (but not quite) as much as Democrats. America is a country where the vast majority of people have no desire to be free. They want big government.

Yet despite all this, most Libertarians closely associate themselves with the Republican party. Why is that? It is because they are willing to either overlook or accept these contradictions as either acceptable or right and necessary exemptions to the libertarian orthodoxy.

As a libertarian who has never voted Democrat or Republican, if you put a gun to my head and forced me to vote for one of the two, it would be Republican because the Republican party is slightly more responsible with America's money and is slightly more tolerant of an individual's freedom. Note the word "slightly." That is the only reason some libertarians feel forced to vote Republican since they already know that the best libertarian candidate has no chance of winning until everyone at least understands libertarianism and knows the candidate's name. Because of government schools, most young people now are coming out of those institutions with their minds completely saturated with all of liberalism's ideals. They would not know freedom and personal responsibility if it kicked them in the buttocks. Look at most of the young people on this site and look at their profile where their views are. Do you think they are being educated in free market capitalism and freedom or Socialistic ideas? It is not even close.

Similarly, I believe that Democrats' transgressions against liberty as either acceptable enough to be looked past or the necessary compromises necessary for creating a healthy and stable society while not violating what I see are the central principles of Libertarianism: that people should be allowed to live, speak, love and do what they want without government interference as long as they don't cause direct harm to another person.

Which is it? Just as an example, I don't think it is acceptable at all to force employers with 50+ employees to cover their health insurance. Health insurance and employment have nothing in common. Employers have one intention when they hire someone: Trade an employees labor for an agreed upon amount of money. End of story. Anything beyond that is a fringe benefit and the government has no business enforcing health insurance responsibilities on an employer nor a minimum wage which interferes with the market forces that drive supply and demand of labor.

In general Democrats are very supportive of social libertarian principles and not as much so of economic libertarianism,

Yes, Dems usually support an individual's freedom to use drugs and a few other things but like you said, those are social issues, not economic. Most libertarians will give you the freedom to think what you want on social issues but the more important issues for the good of the people are economic issues. Liberalism is destroying this once great country.

I do not relish the idea of living in the supposed golden age of economic libertarianism which was the late 19th century and early 20th. Private enterprise may have had almost perfect liberty but it also created toxic fogs in London that literally killed people.

No libertarian would support an industry that was producing a fog that killed people so that is a bit unfair of a comparison. If people are being killed, it is the role of government to step in. I cannot imagine any libertarian not agreeing with that. That is part of the role of government - to defend life. On the other hand, government's strangulation of constant and highly restrictive regulations have caused many an enterprising entrepreneur total frustration when wanting to run or start a business and have failed at it. Government has been known to shut down businesses for the most trivial of reason. Government shut down an entire trucking company because two of the trucks had flat tires:

http://www.breitbart.com...

Overkill? This is what happens when government gets too big.

So just as I imagine my opponent will argue that creating a military is one of the legitimate jobs of the state, I argue that the regulation of large-scale private enterprise is just as vital a function of a government.

Regulation of what though? Very large businesses have to hire lawyers left and right just handle the constant inflow of regulation. Our government hates business. Obama's own book refers to him working in the private sector briefly as going "behind enemy lines."

Check out these stories of how government sinks their claws into private business:

http://www.heritage.org...
http://www.bizjournals.com...

This one is really a lot of fun: http://www.businessinsider.com...

Did you know that you that in some states like Florida, you need a license to tell me that my living room sofa should go by the window instead of the coffee table:

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com...

I would rather see under regulation than over and truthfully, there is no middle ground. The power of government does not restrain itself.

So in summary: I put forward to the voters that being a Democrat is not more conflicting for a Libertarian than being a Republican as being either requires compromises of the ideology's orthodoxy. But making those compromises does not disqualify one from being a libertarian.

Again, this debate is not about Republican versus Democrat. You simply cannot be an economic libertarian and a Democrat.
MaxSophistry

Con

MaxSophistry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
brett.winstead

Pro

2 recent debates and 2 opponents who will not even continue the debate.
MaxSophistry

Con

MaxSophistry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
brett.winstead

Pro

And the saga continues.
MaxSophistry

Con

MaxSophistry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
MaxSophistry

Con

MaxSophistry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 3 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
Double_R perhaps you could summarize the principles (if any) of the democratic party then?

I warn you I will laugh if it's something like "We do what works."
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
To my opponent, I just now looked at your profile in the column of the agree/disagree part on the left. I cannot fathom in a million years how you could possibly call yourself a libertarian! You are nowhere even close. You actually claim to be pro Socialist! You are for all sorts of government regulations. You are for welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, redistribution and the list goes on and on. You are exactly the kind of person I was talking about in the beginning. People who call themselves libertarian because they believe in legalized prostitution and that drug laws should be banned are not libertarians for those reasons only. Libertarians just happen to agree with that. Why did you even bother to accept this debate? I have heard that if you take the left, middle and right of America and compare it to the UK, it looks like this: America's left is the middle in the UK and America's right is non-existent there. I am starting to believe it. Your views are VERY FAR from libertarianism, about as far as Satan worship is to Christianity.
Posted by Double_R 3 years ago
Double_R
Brett,

Just because you can point to a couple of websites that seem to support what you are saying doesn't make your terms accurate in describing democratic positions. I am a registered democrat, and score pretty far to the left on most ideology tests. I can't stand the occupy wall st movement. I don't see corporations as "soul-less entities", I do not frown on businesses who make large profits, I do not believe in "free" healcare, etc... and neither do most intelligent liberals. All that is just rhetoric coming from people trying to rally up those who don't know any better. There is an upside and a downside to every solution. All you are doing is focusing on the downside, and then pretending that the downside is the point. If intelligent discussion is what you seek, that is a pointless approach.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 3 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
The dictionary doesn't tell you what beliefs are advocated by the democratic party, so no you couldn't.

Oh but you can look it up. It's all right here http://www.democrats.org...
Posted by UnderHill 3 years ago
UnderHill
All you have to do to win this debate is to pull up two dictionary definitions. Your friends must be pretty stupid.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 3 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
Damn, I would have insta-accepted if you were Con.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
Underhill, you are mistaken. I have friends that I talk to regularly who do not see a problem at all with calling themselves libertarians and who fit the bill for nearly everything I said when it comes to Democrat ideals and yes, that voted for Obama . Yes, it is a contradiction and yes, there are people who hold these views.

Double, these are not Republican characterizations of democrats and liberals. They openly admit to those things. Just surf the liberal websites or here. They think many parts of socialism and communism are great ideas if just implemented correctly. Not to say that many Republicans don't have many of the same views but to a lesser degree. Sure,many Repubs like the minimum wage but most Dems do. Libertarians do not want government getting involved in the free market so therefore it is highly contradictory for one to be both a libertarian and a Democrat.
Posted by Double_R 3 years ago
Double_R
More then half of the things you mentioned are nothing more then republican characterizations of democrats positions which are mostly flat out false. That is no different then me telling you that republicans just want poor people to suffer for.

And Underhill is correct. Semantics aside, your resolution is self contradictory. All we need to settle this debate is a dictionary.
Posted by Kumquatodor 3 years ago
Kumquatodor
I wish I could join; it would be a magnificent learning experience.
Posted by UnderHill 3 years ago
UnderHill
I'm kind of confused. You're basically saying one cannot be two completely opposite parties at the same time, which is pretty obvious.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
brett.winsteadMaxSophistryTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: ff